Visual Studio 3D Starter Kit for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Store apps

March 31, 2013 .NET, Channel9, Community, Direct3D, DirectX, KnowledgeBase, Microsoft, Microsoft SDKs, Misc, MSDN, VisualStudio, VS2012, Windows, Windows 8, Windows 8 apps development, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.0 SDK, Windows Phone Development, Windows Phone SDK, Windows Store Development No comments

Microsoft has released a Visual Studio 3D Starter kit sample project which would essentially help the developers to create 3D Games or apps using Visual Studio 2012 and Windows Phone 8.0 SDK or Windows SDK.

[Image Courtesy: Microsoft]

[Quoting from Visual Studio Code gallery and official blog]

This sample contains the starting point for a basic game for Windows Store and Windows Phone, a “Starter Kit” which provides support for consuming runtime assets produced by the VS tools. This includes loading and rendering assets (meshes, textures and shaders).

This sample demonstrates several features of Visual Studio useful in game development. It contains the starting point for a basic Direct3D game that shares code between Windows Store and Windows Phone 8.

To make the most of the Starter Kit for Windows Phone 8, you’ll need to have Visual Studio Professional 2012 installed plus Windows Phone 8.0 SDK, and you’ll need to install Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 CTP 3 (it has a fix needed to package the app correctly for Windows Phone 8).

How to get the Starter Kit: Are you ready to begin your own DirectX coding adventure? Download the Starter Kit from

If you’re using one of the Visual Studio Express 2012 products, you can find platform specific versions of the Starter Kit at for Windows 8 and at for Windows Phone 8.

Get Visual Studio 3D Starter Kit

Read more about Visual Studio 3D Starter Kit from official blogs below:

Kinect for Windows – Commercial Release

February 1, 2012 .NET, .NET Framework, All, DirectX, Hardware&Peripherals, Kinect SDK, Microsoft, Microsoft SDKs, VisualStudio, VS2010, Windows, Windows 7, Windows 8, XBOX, XBox, XBox Development, XBOX Development No comments

Microsoft has today released a commercial version of Kinect for Windows.

Kinect for Windows is a specific version of Kinect released only for interfacing Microsoft Kinect with your laptop or desktop with Windows 7. Kinect for Windows is available as a bundle package through Amazon and Microsoft Store for 249$.

Why Microsoft has released another Kinect edition?

Kinect for XBOX 360 are built specifically to interface with XBOX and it has been tweaked to work with XBOX programming API’s. What we realized when we used Kinect Controller for XBOX 360 on a PC, there is little performance difference in it. So Microsoft has made some tweaks to Microsoft Kinect for performance optimization in Windows, and this version of Kinect has been available as Kinect for Windows.

Not only that Microsoft has opt for a Hardware only Business model with Kinect for Windows. We have to get commercial hardware license for Kinect to use it in a commercial environment, but the software to use with it (Kinect SDK for Windows) is been released as FREE.

So you only will have to spend  for Buying hardware (Kinect for Windows), and Software license(Kinect SDK for Windows) is free.


The newly released Kinect for Windows hardware is optimized for use with computers and devices running Windows 7, Windows 8 developer preview (desktop applications only), and Windows Embedded-based devices.

Is it confusing for you, the terminologies? Don’t worry I will make it clear.

1. Kinect for Windows – a commercial version of Kinect sensor hardware for using with Windows

2. Kinect SDK for Windows – software for Kinect for Windows( which includes Kinect for Windows Drivers, API’s and Samples etc).

The Bundle and Availability

Kinect for Windows sensor is available as a bundle through amazon and Microsoft Store for Purchase.

The Bundle consists of

  • Kinect for Windows sensor
  • Manual
  • USB/power supply cable
  • and 1 year support and software updates

The Kinect for Windows sensor is available in the United States, for a suggested retail price of US $249. You will also be able to purchase Kinect for Window sensors in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom. More countries will be added soon.

Note: The sensor unit does not ship with any software, and will only operate with an application developed for Kinect for Windows.


The Kinect of Windows sensor is intended to be used with the Kinect for Windows SDK and applications developed using the Kinect for Windows SDK and associated runtime software.

The SDK includes drivers, APIs, sample code and more.

Features of Kinect for Windows hardware and SDK

1. Commercial Ready – ready to use for commercial uses

2. Enhanced Sensor  – The Kinect for Windows sensor expands the possibilities for innovation with features like Near Mode, which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 40 centimeters in front of the sensor. In addition, up to 4 Kinect sensors can now be plugged into the same computer.

3. Software Improvements

One of the many improvements to the Kinect for Windows SDK is improved skeletal tracking, which lets developers control which user is being tracked by the sensor. In addition, the latest Microsoft Speech components, along with an improved acoustic model significantly improve speech recognition accuracy.

4. Advanced Speech and audio capabilities

Provide the latest Microsoft Speech components and an updated English Language Pack for improved language recognition accuracy. In addition, the appropriate runtime components are now automatically installed with the runtime installer exe.

5. API Improvements

Enhances consistency and ease of development. New developers should have a much easier time learning how to develop with Kinect for Windows, and all developers will be more productive.

6. Shortening USB cable and small dongle

Ensure reliability across a broad range of computers and improves coexistence with other USB peripherals.

7. Support and software updates

The Kinect for Windows hardware includes a one-year warranty, support, and access to software updates for both speech and human tracking.


Software & Hardware Requirements

Hardware : 

  • 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • Dual-core 2.66 GHz or faster processor
  • Dedicated USB 2.0 bus
  • 2 GB RAM

Software :

  • Requires operating system is Windows 7 or Windows Embedded Standard 7

Small Update info on Kinect SDK for Windows BETA

The Kinect for Windows SDK beta can only be used with the Kinect for Xbox 360 hardware. Applications built with this hardware and software are for non-commercial development only. To accommodate existing non-commercial deployments using the SDK beta and the Kinect for Xbox 360 hardware, the beta license is being extended to June 16, 2016. Developers are encouraged to download the Kinect for Windows SDK, which was released February 1, 2012. This SDK provides additional features and updates.


This post is prepared based on the information available on, if you would like to know more on Kinect for Windows please visit the Kinect for Windows website.

Where to Purchase Kinect for Windows hardware ?

Download the Kinect for Windows SDK

Resources on Kinect for Windows hardware and SDK

FAQ’s on Kinect for Windows – SDK

Microsoft Kinect SDK v 1.0 Beta 2 Released

November 4, 2011 .NET, .NET Framework, All, DirectX, General, Kinect SDK, Microsoft, Microsoft SDKs, VisualStudio, VS2010, Windows, Windows 7 No comments

Microsoft has released the Beta 2 for Kinect SDK v1.0. The Microsoft Kinect for Windows SDK provides the native and managed APIs and the tools you need to develop Kinect enabled applications for Windows.

Date Published:

Download From: 

Taken from Microsoft Download Center

Changes in this release


Since the Beta 1 Refresh release, the following changes have been made:

  • Significant improvements to skeletal tracking:
    • Accuracy has been improved overall, resulting in more precise tracking.
    • Skeletal Frame delivery is faster, resulting in reduced latency.
    • Skeletal Tracking is now multi-threaded and can take advantage of multiple CPU cores.
    • When using 2 Kinects, developers can now specify which one is used for skeletal tracking.
  • API support for detecting and managing device status changes, such as device unplugged, device plugged in, power unplugged, etc. Apps can reconnect to the Kinect device after it is plugged in, after the computer returns from suspend, etc. See the Shape Game sample code for the best example.
  • Developers using the audio within WPF no longer need to access the DMO from a separate thread. You can create the KinectAudioSource on the UI thread and simplify your code.
  • The driver, runtime, and SDK work correctly on the Windows 8 Developer Preview for desktop applications.
  • The SDK can be used to build 64-bit applications. Previously, only 32-bit applications could be built.
  • NuiImageBuffer has been replaced by INuiFrameTexture, defined in MSR_NuiImageCamera.h. It is no longer necessary to include the file NuiImageBuffer.h in your project.
  • The SDK install structure and default location have changed. The install location is in the environment variable %KINECTSDK_DIR% which defaults to C:Program FilesMicrosoft SDKsKinectv1.0 Beta2
  • Sample code changes:
    • There are is a new C# sample: KinectAudioDemo.
    • The samples have been updated. Also the C# samples use helpers, KinectWpfViewers, that may be useful in your apps.
    • The samples are now installed to Samples folder of the SDK directory, which defaults to C:Program FilesMicrosoft SDKsKinectv1.0 Beta2Samples. Unzip the samples file to view the source code. We recommend that you unzip them to somewhere outside of the Program Files directory.
  • Driver and runtime stability and performance improvements, especially for the managed API layer.

Problems and known issues:

  • When extracting the samples from the zip file, the sample source files are by default Read Only. If modifying them in Visual Studio, it will prompt to verify if it is ok to overwrite. In other text editors, to modify them, you may have to first change their file properties to read write.
  • The Kinect for Windows drivers have encountered compatibility problems with certain USB host controllers, such as the Intel 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset USB host controller. On those hubs, you may encounter a problem, such as a Not Ready status, when plugging/unplugging a Kinect. If this happens to you, you may have to restart your app or reboot your computer.

Kinect SDK for Windows–Quick Starts

July 11, 2011 .NET, All, DirectX, General, Kinect SDK, KnowledgeBase, Microsoft, Microsoft SDKs No comments

Microsoft Research has released BETA of Kinect SDK for Windows a while ago. Which provides a set of drivers and managed API’s for develop applications that will utilize the Kinect for motion sensing technologies or applications.

Download the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the Kinect for Windows SDK at

MSDN Channel 9 have a set of Kinect for Windows SDK Quick start tutorial by Dan Fernandez

I quickly embedding these series of videos to my post, so that you may can view and help yourselves.

Part 1: Installing and Using the Kinect Sensor

Part 2: Setting Up Your Development Environment

and more available at Kinect for Windows SDK Quick start on Channel 9

These tutorials will defenitly help you in gain knowledge on Kinect SDK for windows. Pretty awesome try it out.

Thanks to Microsoft & Channel 9